The never-ending press cycle surrounding “Don’t Worry Darling” continues, as director Olivia Wilde denies that Shia LaBeouf quit the film.
After Wilde originally claimed she fired him from her movie, LaBeouf shot back and maintained that he quit “Don’t Worry Darling.” The actor provided Variety with emails and text messages allegedly sent between Wilde and LaBeouf that show he chose to exit the film because he felt the actors were not given enough time to rehearse.
In a new interview with Vanity Fair, Wilde doubled down on her account of the incident, saying: “This issue is so much more nuanced than can be explained in private texts released out of context. All I’ll say is he was replaced, and there was no going forward with him. I wish him the best in his recovery.”
LaBeouf, who was later replaced by Harry Styles, exited the film in 2020, with the studio citing “scheduling conflicts.” In Variety‘s Aug. 24 cover story, Wilde opened up about his departure, asserting that she fired LaBeouf over his “combative” acting process and need to make a “safe, trusting environment.”
“His process was not conducive to the ethos that I demand in my productions. He has a process that, in some ways, seems to require a combative energy, and I don’t personally believe that is conducive to the best performances,” Wilde told Variety. “I believe that creating a safe, trusting environment is the best way to get people to do their best work. Ultimately, my responsibility is to the production and to the cast to protect them. That was my job.”
The director continued: “Particularly with a movie like this, I knew that I was going to be asking Florence to be in very vulnerable situations, and my priority was making her feel safe and making her feel supported.”
A few months after LaBeouf left “Don’t Worry Darling,” the actor was sued for abuse and sexual battery by his ex-girlfriend FKA Twigs.
Immediately following Variety‘s interview with Wilde, LaBeouf came forward to dispute the claim that he was fired from “Don’t Worry Darling,” asserting that he chose to leave the production because he didn’t feel the actors were given adequate time to rehearse. LaBeouf sent Variety emails he claims to have sent Wilde after the cover story was published, in which he wrote: “You and I both know the reasons for my exit. I quit your film because your actors and I couldn’t find time to rehearse.” LaBeouf also forwarded Variety text messages he allegedly sent to Wilde in which he tells her he’d have to back out of her movie, as well as a video in which Wilde says to LaBeouf she is “not ready to give up on this yet.”
“You know, I think this might be a bit of a wake-up call for Miss Flo, and I want to know if you’re open to giving this a shot with me, with us,” Wilde says in the video. “If she really commits, if she really puts her mind and heart into it at this point and if you guys can make peace — and I respect your point of view, I respect hers — but if you guys can do it, what do you think? Is there hope? Will you let me know?”
“Don’t Worry Darling” premiered at the Venice Film Festival earlier this week to mixed reviews. The film will hit theaters on Sept. 23.